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Announcements, Conferences, Exhibitions

religion and the arts

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Exhibition Announcement

Picturing Mexico: Alfredo Ramos Martínez in California opens on January 19, 2014 at the Pasadena Museum of California Art and will run until May 4th, 2014.  It is the first comprehensive examination by a museum of this Mexican artist’s work produced in California between 1929 and 1946, who was known for his own distinctive contributions to modernism.  Curated by Dr. Amy Galpin, the exhibition examines a somewhat unsung artist who was overshadowed by "los tres grandes": Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro, but is deserving of a deeper look.  Explored through four sections — “L.A. Stories,” “Many Women,” “Religious Piety,” and “Forever Mexico” — with new research, this exhibition firmly places Ramos Martínez alongside those contemporaries in the narrative of early twentieth century art. 


Call for Papers


Call for Papers: A symposium of the Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art (ASCHA)

"Sang Sacré”: Conflicting Associations in French Art

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pratt Institute (Manhattan campus) 144 West 14th Street, NY, NY

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Cordula Grewe

In Christian concepts of sacrifice and redemption, sacred blood—“le Sang Sacré” suggests competing meanings, as represented in symbols, themes, and narratives.  Between c. 1780 and c. 1900, French art demonstrated ways in which Christian associations with blood could form part of a dialectic of truth and falsity; and how this dialectic could be all the more vigorously conveyed via blood imagery.

“Sang Sacré” has been identified not only with mortality and immortality, but as well, with power as an expression of the vengeful, the covenantal, and the salvific.  Taking social and political upheavals as a point of departure, “le Sang Sacré” raises questions such as: how did “le sang sacré” participate within historical contexts as an agent of change? How did blood imagery influence upheaval, reflecting, challenging and supporting shifting regimes? Did developments in theology monitor its representation?  Did its representation pacify and suppress; or rather, provoke?   How did its representation change perception of its nature? For example, did works of art symbolically transcend, or rather, emphasize, its sensate nature, and to what effect?

We welcome proposals for papers that address the metaphysical and aesthetic attributes of blood as an interpreter of cultural values in French art between 1780 and 1900. Papers might navigate the connections between the material and the immaterial, address the representation of blood chroma in conjunction with notions of Christian combat, or otherwise explore meanings made possibly by Christian associations with blood. The symposium will consist of 20-minute papers of new and publishable scholarship that explores aspects of blood imagery and how it may have challenged cultural history.

The Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art is dedicated to the facilitation and promotion of scholarship that examines the relationship between Christianity and the visual arts. ASCHA is international, non-political, and ecumenical; we invite the participation of scholars of all and no personal faith persuasions. ASCHA encourages the critical study of Christianity and the visual arts as that relationship is diversely manifested in all historical periods and world cultures. For more information about ASCHA, visit our website at

Paper proposals of no more than two pages double-spaced should be submitted, with a cover letter and c.v., to symposium co-organizers: Dr. Joyce C. Polistena, and Dr. James Romaine Previously presented or published papers, as well as papers already committed to publication, will be considered but should be specifically indicated as such. Deadline for submission is November 30, 2012. Acceptance in the symposium implies commitment to attend. Presenters will be able register for the symposium at the reduced fee.


Call for papers: 2012 SAMLA

2012 SAMLA CONFERENCE CALLS FOR PAPERS November 9-11, 2012 Research Triangle, North Carolina

Special Focus: Text as Memoir: Tales of Travel, Immigration, and Exile
Panel: The Search in the Writings of Walker Percy

In The Moviegoer Walker Percy famously defines the idea of “the Search”: “What is the nature of the search? you ask. Really it is very simple; at least for a fellow like me; so simple that it is easily overlooked. The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life.” As a way to incorporate this year’s convention themes of travel and exile, papers should address the ways in which the Search manifests itself in Percy’s writings, not only in The Moviegoer but also in his other novels or even his non-fiction works. The Search can be considered in terms of the literal journeys of Percy’s characters in time and space or metaphorically as psychological or spiritual journeys. Considerations can also be given to the sense of exile that Percy’s characters experience because of their own struggles with the Search.

By June 1, 2012, please submit abstracts of 300 words to Paul Stapleton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,


Shakespeare and the Memory of a Lost Religion

Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the critical trend of the past dozen years commonly referred to as “the turn to religion in Shakespeare criticism.” An important element of this “turn” has included attempts to uncover the remnants of a forgotten Catholicism in Shakespeare’s oeuvre, e.g., Stephen Greenblatt’s Hamlet in Purgatory (2001) and Eamon Duffy’s “Bare Ruined Choirs: Remembering Catholicism in Shakespeare’s England” (2003). This panel is not intended as a forum for arguments about Shakespeare’s own personal religious predilections, but instead, papers should address the ways in which the Bard employs Catholic motifs in his writings, effectively creating texts of religious memory, a memory that may be defined as historical, critical, nostalgic, a dramatic tool—the list goes on. Special attention can also be given to the conference themes of travel, immigration, and exile as they lend themselves to Shakespeare’s efforts at remembering a lost English Catholicism.

By June 30, 2012, please submit abstracts of 300 words to Paul Stapleton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,


Call for Papers: Fall 2012 Conference

The students of the Department of Comparative Literature and of the Italian Specialization at the CUNY Graduate Center present the annual interdisciplinary conference entitled IN TRANS: Reading Between and Beyond, to be held on November 8 and 9, 2012.

Keynote speaker: Prof. Leonard Barkan (Princeton University)

The prefix trans- implies the fundamental patterns that lie at the heart of artistic and other modes of creation and reception. It entails the act of moving simultaneously beyond, between and through the limits of a concept or an idea. From Translation to Transcendence, from Transnationalism to Transsexualism, from Transcription to Transgression, the study of phenomena that occur in between or beyond traditional definitions and principles has captured the attention of the academic world over the past twenty years. Words that begin with the prefix trans- describe cultural and artistic creations that attempt to defy standard notions of identity, authorship, completeness, meaning or interpretation. This conference will explore the study of what lies between and beyond the customary through the use of words that contain the very idea of being “in trans.”

We invite papers from all disciplines focusing on works from any period that explore the multiplicity of the prefix trans- in literature, philosophy, theory, visual arts, film, or social sciences. Some of the questions this conference seeks to answer include, but are not limited to:

•       What role does transience play in the work of art as it goes from the first draft to a possible final product? What does this condition entail?
•       Do the notions that challenge standard definitions and principles become immutable standards themselves?
•       How has literary theory dealt with the issues of deception and sincerity? Can any cultural expression, whether literary, audiovisual, philosophical, or political, be transparent?
•       How has the idea of national, racial or cultural identity been challenged by literature, cinema, or the arts? How does transnationalism affect contemporary cultural expressions?
•       How does transferring from one space to another affect the creation and the reception of the work of art?
•       How have the theological concepts of transubstantiation and transfiguration been developed in literature and the arts? Can literary theory use these concepts to understand the problem of creation and influence?
•       How are the identities of the author and the translator affected by the shift from one language to another? How is the reception of a text influenced by translation?
•       What happens to a work when it is transcoded from one symbolic system to another?
•       How are transsexual modes of self-identification expressed or challenged in a work of art?
•       What is the relation between the transcendent and the sublime? Does the presence of transcendence push the limit of a work of art?
•       How is transmission, in terms of broadcasting, cultural transplantation, or even disease, exemplified in art and literature? How has transmission been approached by literary theory?
•       How does the author transfer his fears and desires to the work of art and the reader? How can the processes of transference and transferal be interpreted?
•       How has the concept of transgression been portrayed and studied by literature, the arts or the social sciences?

Please submit a 300 word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by September 15, 2012 to<>. Proposals should include the title of the paper, presenter’s name, institutional and departmental affiliation, and any technology requests. We also welcome panel proposals of three to four papers.

Please refer to the website for further information:

This conference is co-sponsored by:
The Writers’ Institute at the City University of New York Graduate Center, a non-MFA program devoted to bringing together the country’s most talented writers and today’s most celebrated editors; The Sonia Raiziss Group Foundation; The Doctoral Students’ Council, the sole policymaking body representing students in doctoral and master’s programs at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


Cologne Cathedral Window by Gerhard Richter

Cologne Cathedral has a new stained-glass southern window, "Symphony of Light," designed by Gerhard Richter, one of Germany's most important living artists.  11,500 squares of glass in 72 colors fill the 20-meter-high window.  The southern window has consisted of simple unadorned glass since the original stained-glass window was destroyed during World War II.

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Envision Church

An online resource sponsored by the Georgetown Center for Liturgy, Envision Church draws primarily on the Catholic tradition as it seeks to "generate a community of people whose interests, talents, creativity, and collaborative spirit will bring about a deeper and richer worship life for the Church."  To this end, Envision Church features articles that examine the use of art in the liturgical tradition, images from an array of worship spaces across six continents, a database of religious art events and announcements, and a library of glossaries, bibliographies, and church documents.

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Directory of Studies in the Visual Culture of Religion

This online directory, founded in 2005 by the Centre for Studies in the Visual Culture of Religion at the School of Art, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, aims “to define (for the first time) the emergent discipline of the visual culture of religion” by charting the research and activities of a wide range of scholars in the field of the visual culture of religion and related disciplines.  The Directory invites scholars to submit profiles detailing research interests, institutional affiliations, teaching experience, and publications.  In the near future, the resulting database will be accessible to all registered users with the goal of fostering both collaborative projects and a sense of collegiality.

Inquiries:  Contact the Directory Administrator at

Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited 

Photographer and writer Rick Nahmias has produced a new body of work entitled "Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited" which has recently premiered in southern California and will soon be touring as a traveling exhibit. The work examines marginalized communities at prayer through a blend of black and white photography, text, and audio. 

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The Peter Milward, S.J. Shakespeare Collection 

The Burns Rare Book Library at Boston College currently houses the Peter Milward, S.J. Shakespeare Collection of Milward Criticism--a complete collection of Milward's books, articles, and chapters on Shakespeare totaling some two hundred items. The library is soon to receive the entire collection of Milward's critical output, currently at the Renaissance Center, Sophia University, Japan. This collection consists of over 350 books (including many in Japanese) authored by Milward, plus more than a thousand articles and other material, including manuscripts and correspondence. The Milward Collection will be part of the Burns Library collection of twentieth-century Catholic and Jesuit material.

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